News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 11, 2012

Rose meets demands for student space, environment in ‘four-star’ residence hall

TERRE HAUTE — A new residence hall at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology showcases the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability while also meeting a growing demand for campus housing.

Originally estimated at $17 million, the four-story facility came in under budget and was constructed in less than a year. Students will start moving in Aug. 26.

The residence hall incorporates a lot of windows and glass to allow in natural daylight, a central feature of its design.

It’s not only energy-efficient, “it’s beautiful,” said Tom Miller, Rose-Hulman’s assistant vice president for student affairs.

It also addresses a need on campus for additional upper-class housing. More students want to live on campus and they will be able to now, officials say.

Student demand for the new 240-bed, 75,000-square-foot building has already exceeded its capacity. The first floor will be suite-style, serving sophomores, while the upper three floors will be apartment-style, aimed at upperclass students.

The building has two wings that extend out at slight angles from a glass-enclosed center corridor.

Pete Gustafson, Rose-Hulman vice president for student affairs, likened the new residence hall to “a four-star hotel. It’s by far the nicest facility we’ve had for residents on campus.”

But even more important is that the new facility will enable more students to live on campus and take advantage of college resources, which “is key to their success,” Miller said.

Since 1999, the college has doubled its campus residence living spaces. The new residence hall brings the capacity to about 1,340 students.

Located on the west edge of campus, the new facility is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver-certified building on campus. LEED provide standards for environmentally green buildings and renovations.

The college signed the American Colleges and Universities President’s Climate Commitment and pledges that all future major building projects will meet LEED standards.

Other energy-efficient features include:

n Online energy consumption monitoring system.

n Individual room thermostat controls.

n Room lighting sensors that turn off after a certain period of time if no one is in the room.

n Recyclable flooring materials.

n White roofing material that reflects light.

n Landscaping with plants that require minimal watering. Also, a parking lot constructed in a wooded area was designed to keep as many trees as possible.

Outside the residence hall, there is an on-site storm-water treatment system that separates debris from the water that goes into Lost Creek. Also, some of the parking spaces are dedicated to economy-sized vehicles.

Jacob Campbell, the college’s sustainability coordinator, estimates that energy-efficiency measures could mean a 40 percent savings in electricity costs and 30 percent savings in water consumption compared with buildings that don’t have those features.

The project broke ground last Aug.17,  work began on the steel infrastructure in early November and Rose-Hulman took control of the building on Aug. 1. “It’s a pretty impressive project to complete in 12 months,” Miller said.

Liz Evans, a senior from Bicknell who will live in the new residence hall — which is being called Lakeside Residence Hall, at least for now — toured it on Friday. “It was amazing,” she said. She likes the way it incorporates natural sunlight and also the bike storage room on the first floor.

Rose-Hulman senior Robert Gilbert also got a tour of the residence hall Friday. “It definitely is very modern and new,” he said, noting that it reminded him of a hotel.

But he’s happy living in Deming Hall, where he will be a resident assistant working with freshmen.

The new housing for upperclass students is much-needed, he said. Students want to live on campus because “they like the convenience and being surrounded by peers and friends,” Gilbert said.

Senior Caitlin Anderson likes all the windows, the lobby areas that are “open and bright” and the cherrywood cabinetry in the rooms. “I love it,” she said.

The residence hall was constructed by Garmong Construction, Inc. of Terre Haute, and Ratio Architects designed the building.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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